How to Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning of your homeís gutters is more than simply
keeping the exterior of your home looking nice. It will prevent damage
to your homeís interior due to flooding through the foundation and walls
or you will need to
repair leaks in the roof due to seepage of water.
Your gutters should be cleaned and checked for signs of
necessary repairs at least twice a year. Typically, the best times to do
this are late spring and late autumn. If you have over hanging trees, you should check them more
Gathering Gutter Cleaning Supplies
If you donít
have the proper supplies and you are thinking about letting it go or
simply rinsing the gutters with a hose, you might want to reconsider.
Avoiding the task completely might result in unnecessary damage to your
home. Using a garden hose in an attempt to rinse away the accumulated
debris might lead to a bigger mess than you started with in the first
Therefore, if you are going to clean the gutters and
downspouts, plan for it and purchase the right tools for the job. First,
make a list of the tools that you need for the job that you do not
already own. Purchase or borrow the items. The following is a list of
the optimal tools to have for this task: an extension ladder, work
gloves, narrow garden trowel or hand spade, trash bags or bucket and
s-hook, plumberís snake, and a garden hose of the correct length with a
Cleaning the Gutters and Downspouts Step by
Collect the tools to a location near your starting place. The
corners of the home are good starting locations since this is where the
downspouts are typically located. Itís best to start near the downspout
and work away from it to avoid pushing additional debris into it.
the extension ladder on a level place. If you are using a bucket
attached to the ladder with the s-hook for collecting the debris, attach
it now. Otherwise, secure a plastic trash bag to collect the debris.
This set up minimizes clean up later. ē Put work gloves on to protect
your hands from any sharp objects in the gutters and downspouts. The
gloves will also help to keep your hands clean.
Begin at the part of
the gutter closest to the downspout. Use the garden trowel or hand spade
to scoop out the debris. Place it into the bucket or trash bag. If any
pieces resist being scooped up, remove them carefully by hand. If you
are planning of disposing of the debris into your compost pile, then you
need to have a separate trash receptacle for metal objects such as
Once you have removed all of the larger debris, get the
garden hose. Rinse the gutter in the direction of the downspout using
the spraying attachment on the hose. Spray the gutter until no signs of
If the downspout is clogged, you will need to clear it.
Three options are available to you. Simply try each one until you find
one that works. Itís probably easiest to begin by using the spray
attachment on the hose to direct water into the downspout from the
bottom end. This may force any clogs loose. Additionally, you can use
the spray attachment on the hose to direct water into the downspout from
the upper end. This may also knock the clog loose. If that does not
work, then you need to work a plumberís snake into the downspout to
loosen the debris and draw the debris out.
Follow this procedure for
all of the gutters and downspouts on your home.
Inspect the gutters
and downspouts now for any signs of damage. Look for holes, dents, or
If you discover any signs of damage, repair them as soon
Dispose of the debris by placing it in your compost pile
or in the trash.
Many places sell accessories for your gutters and downspouts that can
effectively lessen the time needed to complete the task of cleaning the
gutters and downspouts. A variety of protectors are on the market that
will deflect the leaves and other debris from the gutters. If you do
decide to install one, be sure that you purchase a model that can easily
be removed to allow for your biannual cleaning chore.